Category Archives: Uncategorized

Weekly readers’ beefs

The loons, cranks, and haters were a bit thin on the ground this week, although there were quite a few wonky comments not amusing enough to reproduce here. Here are four readers whose comments we won’t be seeing again. As always, the poor grammar and misspelling are from the originals and are not mistakes in transcription. Reader […]

“True facts” about Jesus

I wish ZeFrank would do a video on this. . . Four days ago, I posted about an NPR piece by Tonia Lombrozo, and its source, a paper by Neil van Leuuwen, which both maintained that the “truths” believed by religious people differ profoundly in character from the “truths” that scientists or laypeople hold about […]

Even male moths do it…

by Matthew Cobb Female moths are well known to produce pheromones that attract potential mates, sometimes from miles away. Male moths generally have much larger or more feather-like antennae than females, in order to catch a whiff of their partner on the air. But some males also produce pheromones, using structures called coremata or ‘hair-pencils’. […]

Young American with terminal brain cancer ends her own life

On November 1, Brittany Maynard, a woman in the prime of life at 29, decided to take a fatal overdose of barbiturates because she was terminally ill with brain cancer. After the diagnosis, she and her husband moved to Washington State Oregon, one of five states in the U.S. that allow assisted suicide. The best account of […]

Google Doodle: Day of the Dead

Today is the Día de Muertos, or the Day of the Dead, a celebration and remembrance of ancestors and friends that happens once a year in Mexico. Last year I was lucky enough to be in Mexico City on that day, and it was a stunning display of skeletal gruesomeness and artistic ability, as seen in the […]

Tonia Lombrozo at NPR: Factual and religious “beliefs” may differ

Okay, I’m not going to dissect the article cited below for two reasons. First, I’m working on the copyedits of the Albatross, an onerous and tiring task. But the main reason is that a colleague and I are writing a scholarly critique of the paper , and it’s wearisome to state the arguments twice. But the paper […]

Bill Maher responds to the Berkeley fracas: “Who ever told you you only had to hear what doesn’t upset you?”

Bill Maher finally responded to the fracas about his invitation to give Berkeley’s commencement speech in December—an invitation that students voted to rescind after issuing it. The administration overruled the withdrawal, and Maher will speak. Here he affirms that he’ll be there: Maher is, to me, an ideal graduation speaker: funny, entertaining, and smart—as well as controversial. […]

Bill Maher stays as Berkeley’s commencement speaker

As I reported earlier, an invitation to Bill Maher to give the commencement address at the University of California at Berkeley recently came under fire as a group of students, apparently largely Muslim, objected on the grounds that he was a racist and a bigot who promulgated “hate speech.” They circulated a petition to withdraw […]

Science proves that consecrated wafers are still wheat and not Jesus

I don’t know much about the Raëlian Movement, but what I’ve learned suggests that Raelians are plenty weird. Their faith is based on Earth’s life having been created by space aliens, so they’re creationists, and they have all kinds of strange views, including a form of baptism that alters your genetic makeup but prepares you for your […]

Piece of Amelia Earhart’s plane found (probably)

According to Discovery News and other sources, a piece of metal recovered in 1991 on an uninhabited Pacific atoll has now been identified (with high probability) as having been part of Amelia Earhart’s plane when she and her copilot went missing during their around-the-world flight in 1937.  Back in mid 2012, I gave some evidence […]

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